Survey suggests women want more boating classes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The results of BoatU.S.’ recent online survey of over 400 women suggest that while parents play an important role in teaching their daughters boating skills, when girls grow up, there aren’t enough boating educational opportunities, especially those that are tailored for women, the association reported in a recent statement.

In the BoatU.S. “Boating Learning and Education Survey for Women,” nearly half of all women respondents (47%) said it was a parent who they first remember teaching them boating skills, and 47 percent also said they had first gone boating before age 10.

“What the survey essentially tells us is that families play an important part in introducing boating to young girls, but as adults they want to learn more in relaxed settings, perhaps away from a well-meaning spouse,” said Elaine Dickinson, executive editor of DIY Boat Owner magazine and the leader of the BoatU.S. Women in Boating initiative.

Over two-thirds (67%) of women said they had taken some type of formal classroom boating training and 73 percent had some hands-on instruction, but there was clear support for more all-women courses (59%), according to BoatU.S. Forty-two percent said that there aren’t enough opportunities for girls and women to learn how to operate a boat, and when asked what kind of learning opportunities are needed, 80 percent said more hands-on events for women.

Three times as many women found a women-only course, seminar or training “effective” as those who didn’t (33% to 11% respectively). “While there is much debate on whether women-only instruction is better, there is no doubt that women boaters prefer to learn in an environment that doesn’t have the pressure associated with co-ed instruction,” said Dickinson.

The topics that female respondents said they want instruction in include boat systems such as engines or electrical (71%); navigation (62%) and upgrading boat-handling skills (52%), the association reported.

Over three-quarters (78%) of respondents currently own either a powerboat (55%) or sailboat (53%). To see the full survey results, go to

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